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Province Supports Mi’kmaq Crisis Line

Aboriginal Affairs/Health and Wellness
March 21, 2013

Aboriginal Nova Scotians will continue to have access to critical mental health services and support with provincial funding to maintain the Mi’kmaq Crisis Line in Eskasoni.

Increasing mental health and addictions treatment services in First Nations communities is a priority for the province, and a key part of Nova Scotia’s first mental health and addictions strategy, Together We Can. As part of that plan, the province will provide $50,000 to maintain the crisis line through 2013-14.

“Mental health and addiction issues can have a crippling affect on individuals, their families and communities,” said Premier Darrell Dexter, who will tour the Eskasoni Health Centre with Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson and Chief Leroy Denny today, March 21.

“Eskasoni has developed a valuable tool that is helping people through these very difficult times, and this government is pleased to be able provide funding that will see this service continue,” said Premier Dexter, who is also Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. “I want to commend Chief Denny and the people of Eskasoni for their continued commitment and leadership on this important issue.”

The Mi’kmaq Crisis Line is available to First Nation communities across Nova Scotia, 24 hours a day, in their own language, by calling 1-855-379-2099.

“As a former paramedic, I have seen the devastating effects of untreated mental illness,” said Mr. Wilson. “There are times when people living with mental illness are facing a crisis, and need an immediate connection with someone who can help. That is why we are extending the Mi’kmaq Crisis Line for another year.”

The province will continue to work with Eskasoni to ensure aboriginal Nova Scotians have access to crisis services in their communities beyond 2013-14.

“I am very pleased that this vital service will continue for the people of Eskasoni and all Mi’kmaq communities in Nova Scotia,” said Chief Denny. “The crisis line provides critical support to people in crisis so it’s important that services are offered in their first language and in a way that respects our traditions.”

For more information on the province’s mental health and addictions strategy, visithttp://novascotia.ca/health/mhs/mental-health-addiction-strategy.asp .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Aboriginal Nova Scotians will continue to have access to critical mental health services and support, thanks to provincial

funding to maintain the Mi’kmaq Crisis Line in Eskasoni.

Premier Darrell Dexter, who is also Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, and David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness,

toured the Eskasoni Health Centre with Chief Leroy Denny today (March 21th).

The Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day to First Nations across Nova Scotia at 1-855-379-2099.

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Media Contacts: Jennifer Stewart
Office of the Premier
902-424-0007
Cell: 902-497-7198
E-mail: [email protected]

Tony Kiritsis
Health and Wellness
902-424-0585
E-mail: [email protected]

Cathy MacIsaac
Aboriginal Affairs
902-424-4312
E-mail: [email protected]

NT5